A year ago yesterday I joined the gym and changed my diet. I know that lots of people on this forum have lost more weight and in a shorter period of time, but I'm proud of how much I've changed my life and the way I look and feel. I wanted to show off what I've accomplished and "publish" my new goal for this year to help keep myself accountable. First, here's the picture:
I'm 6'0" and started at 318lbs and last week I hit a low of 251. So that's 67lbs lost and a significant amount of muscle gained. I also quit smoking on the same day I joined the gym. I was on blood pressure medication a year ago but my BP is now 120/80 with no medications. My new goal is to have visible six-pack abs at this time next year. I'm hoping another 30lbs will accomplish that, but it might require more.
How I did it: I started off by cutting my calories WAY back to about 1500/day and going to the gym 6-7 days/week for at least an hour of cardio per day. I did light weight training 3 days/week. I lost 40 lbs in exactly 2 months. Then I started on concentrate more on weight training and increasing calorie intake while getting more protein. I had a huge interruption when I moved across the country over the summer. That's when I started cycling. I usually rode about 20 miles almost everyday after work with a 30+ mile ride on the weekend. I was inconsistent with weights during this time but still managed once/week at least. In november it got cold and I put the bike away and started going to the gym again. Currently I do intense weight training 3 mornings/week and do some High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) for 20 min on three afternoons/week. I usually do the intervals on a stationary/spin bike. I do weights Tue, Thur, Sat alternating between 90 min upper body, and 60 min lower body workouts. I do my intervals on Mon, Wed, Fri. I've only been consistently doing weights and intervals this way for a few weeks and have noticed a huge difference in strength and definition already. I play on a volleyball league one night/week and occasionally take a spin class on Sundays. I eat 5-6 times a day and make a lean protein the center of every meal. Usually 3 decent meals and 2-3 snacks. My favorite foods are turkey burgers one whole wheat bread, english muffins with egg whites cheese and ham, chicken breast with brown rice, string cheese, steak, slimfast, apples, bananas, and protein shakes. I'm shooting for about 2100 cal/day (my calculated RMR) but usually overdo it on the weekends.
I've read a ton of books and articles and research studies relating to diet and exercise. Most of the diet info is consistent but its more difficult to find consistent and conclusive studies as to the best way to burn fat and keep/build muscle. The routine I'm doing now is what I believe to be the best for my goals based on the research I've done. When the weather gets nice again I will be back to doing most of my cardio on a bike but I will more than likely alternate between doing longer distance moderate intensity rides, and short 20 minute high intensity interval rides. The key for me is that I push myself as hard as I can every time I work out.
The Clydes/Athenas forum has been a great help. I mostly lurk, but also post occasionally. It's nice to know that there are other big cyclists out there with similar goals!